In 1 year, House of Pillows has sold 200+ pillows, helped out with a dozen custom orders, and has been mentioned in several home decor blogs. I can't wait for this next year and the opportunity to continue to grow my little business.
I remember thinking I would be happy if I sold maybe one pillow a month, and am still in shock at the success my little shop has had this year. I honestly thought that it might eventually turn into more of a chore rather than a fun little hobby on the side. I have to say that even after a long 9 hour day at at my day job, I'm not always biting at the bit to sit down at the sewing machine for another couple hours to fill orders- but it really has been more fun than 'work.'
In the last year I have learned what fabric to buy and where to buy it, am starting to fine tune what potential customers like and what they don't, where to buy the most inexpensive high quality inserts, what to charge while still keeping a competitive edge, the best shop policies to stick to, the most cost effective shipping supplies, how to limit overhead costs while maintaining a versatile selection, and just recently re-vamped my shop with high quality photos...you can see here.
Of course there are still a lot of things to fine tune and experiment with- like the ever changing shipping costs... My goals for year is to continue to explore different marketing opportunities ( like blog sponsorships, blog features, wholesale) I would also love to become more involved in local design markets ( however maybe not the Greensboro farmers market....lesson learned), keeping a better log of supply costs ( that's a big one I'm going to be regretting in a few weeks), and protecting margin and limiting overhead.
And of course there was perhaps the most exciting thing to happen to HOP this year.....when the writers of Young House Love decided to make a purchase and then later mention my shop by name on their famous blog....still pinching myself. That day alone my shop had 5,000+ hits and 13 orders filled. Lets just say it gave my shop a huge booster shot that I know will continue to pay off. ( still trying to decide if writing them a thank you not or naming our first born child after them is the most appropriate way to show my gratitude).
(I had to take a picture of the amount of hits I got last friday when the shop was on young house love. I got 20% of the hits I had all last year in 1 day...pretty crazy)
And then there's Daniel. I honestly can't believe how supportive and excited he is about my shop ALL THE TIME. He loves sharing his opinions on fabric and is amazing about monitoring 'quality control.' He has made dozens of trips to the post office, come to way more fabric stores than any husband should ever have to endure, and has loaded his car with more pillow inserts than I can count. He is the biggest support!